If 80 Percent of Voters Want Free Speech, Why Don’t We Have It?

“A national survey by Scott Rasmussen found 80% of voters prefer free speech and only 9% want the government to determine what speech should be allowed. The free speech option is supported by at least 70% of every measured demographic group, Rasmussen found.” [Source: WND]

Assuming the poll is accurate, then what’s going on? Why do the vast majority of Americans seem to tolerate, or even applaud, the unholy alliance between Facebook/Twitter/Google and our federal government to impose on Americans one-party rule, and only the state-approved positions on election integrity, health, race relations, gender dysphoria, Donald Trump, etc.?

I believe the issue boils down to reason versus feelings. This poll demonstrates human nature — at its weakest. People, especially in America, LIKE to believe they support freedom of speech. On the abstract or intellectual level, disconnected from their own feelings or daily lives, they think, “Sure. I support free speech. I’m an American.” It’s kind of like the AOC or Biden supporter flying an American flag on his front porch. He’s got to be kidding, right? How can you like Communism and like the American flag at the same time? No. He LIKES the idea that he’s an “American.” He has no idea what the concept means. If he did, he wouldn’t support Joe Biden’s assault on individual rights and AOC’s open advocacy of overthrowing the system symbolized by that very flag. But he likes the idea that he’s on the side of virtue. “Freedom is Slavery”, as Orwell pointed out all those years ago.

It’s the same with free speech. “Censorship is free speech.” Orwell couldn’t have said it better. The millions of left-wing or left-leaning Americans who get to say whatever they wish on social media, and have a sense of being shielded from speech they dislike, have no problem calling this brazen hypocrisy “free speech.” That’s how you get a poll that shows 80 percent of Americans want free speech. Huge numbers of people in that 80 percent like the idea of free speech. But say one thing they dislike — if, say, Facebook and Twitter suddenly started to permit dissension from the one-party dogma — then their feelings would rush to the surface: “Not that! That’s hate speech! Hate speech is not protected!” Their definition of “hate speech” is broader than the continent that stretches from Maine to California.
So even if the poll is accurate, I take no comfort in it. My educated guess? Probably about half the country — or maybe less — still supports free speech. The other half THINKS they do, but they don’t. A few will admit they support censorship, but most will not — even to themselves. It interferes with their sense of virtue.

That’s why we’re in such trouble. Remember that in Nazi Germany, at least at the time, a plurality of people probably thought Hitler was fine. Those same people just didn’t want to believe he was doing what he was doing. That’s precisely our situation today. And psychology helps explain it: Many people — perhaps most — like to separate their abstract ideas from their true feelings. Think the hard core leftist cheering and applauding the imposition of totalitarianism on America … while flying the American flag. It’s not stupidity. It’s denial mixed with an inflated sense of one’s own virtue.

That’s the thing that has to be defeated. The challenge for today’s liberty-lovers is to figure out how.



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